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DIY Cake Smash Cake by Jennifer Evans

photograph of cake and tutu Let's talk CAKE!  Over the years I've had the pleasure of photographing several cake smashes and I've seen all different kinds of cakes. We're talking grocery store sheet cakes, fancy schmancy bakery cakes and even fun, tall frosted cupcakes.  But can I share a secret with you?  Out of all those cakes, the cake in these photos is by far my favorite!  It was perfectly sized, beautifully and simply decorated and best of all - MOM made it for well under $20!

A toddler getting ready to smash her cake

Nope!  Not kidding.  This perfect, toddler-sized, Pinterest-perfect cake was Mom-Made (and she doesn't have the Keebler Elves hanging out in her kitchen)!  I asked her to share her secret and here it is...

Materials Needed: 2 - 4 inch baking pans (she used two 2-cup Pyrex dishes she had around the house) 1 box of cake mix - $1.98 2 cake pads (one to use during the icing process and the second to transfer the finished product) $3 for 6 (or you can use a flat plate for free) 1 M piping tip - $0.98 Piping bags - $4.00 for 12 (you can use a gallon ziplock bag) Icing Knife - $4.89 (a butter knife will also do the trick!) Spatula 1 Tub of vanilla icing - $1.89

She used the following You Tube Video to guide her:  CAKE DIRECTIONS

Toddler eating cake

Cake smash - face

So go ahead...take some time and make your child their own personal-sized cake smash cake!!

A Tiny Peek Into a Fotoplicity Vacation by Jennifer Evans

The ice from the mouth-watering sangria glistens in the orange glow of the sun as the comforting scent of leftover homemade bread wafts in from the open kitchen doors behind me.  I take in the sound of the bubbling fish pond below which mixes in unison with my husband's relaxed breathing next to me and the sounds of the children playing somewhere in the dusk.  Together we watch as the sun sets behind the mountain and enjoy the peacefulness of the moment..sangria Each August my husband and I pack up the kids and we head off on a much needed summer vacation.  While many love to sightsee and travel to distant exciting or exotic locations for their getaways - ours is a whole lot simpler.  My husband and both work a lot (my husband way more than me).  So for us - summer vacation is our time to slow things down, relax and just enjoy being together.  That usually translates int0 renting a nice home with a pool somewhere in the mountains of Pennsylvania or New York or New Jersey.

Vacation1

This year we opted for a spot that borders all three states.  Our getaway home is located at the end of a dirt road surrounded by nothing but nature.  It's quiet here - well, except for the rooster who lets us know that morning has arrived!  We spend our days sleeping late, relaxing and playing poolside, cooking up amazing meals that consist of farmstand finds and fresh eggs from the hen house on the property.  We take day trips to state parks, local attractions, take in sunsets and sunrises and just exist and enjoy one another's company.  We have no schedule - as a matter of fact, we don't even look at the clock.  It's very freeing.

While we do have to sneak in a bit of work, working from a table with a mountain view is much more relaxed than an office.  And this year my daughter did spend a sick day on the couch - but that's ok - when you don't have set plans, a little glitch like this isn't an issue.

If you've never experienced an uneventful vacation where life slows down - I highly recommend it.  It really does wonders for the mind, body and soul.  The only thing we hate is having to leave...

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And of course, I have to take some beautiful photos of my girls when I have access to a gorgeous location like this! girl looking to the skywalkingWM

So...you're not photogenic? by Jennifer Evans

As she sits in front of me, lovingly cradling her infant, we talk about options for her upcoming session.  We discuss what she envisions her ideal family portrait to look like and how she is thinking of displaying it in her home.  We review potential locations and she tells me about each of her children.  She is excited, but throughout the meeting I notice her fidgeting her hands and the hint of insecurity behind her eyes.  We work out the details and then I ask, "do you have any concerns you wish to bring up?"  The fidgeting stops and I can tell she is struggling with something.... she takes a deep breath and says...

"I love your work, and I'm really excited about this - but I'm not photogenic."

She is not alone.  The majority of my clients come to their consultations with this EXACT concern.  Whether it's about their weight, their nose, their hair...there is something that makes them believe they are unable to look great in a photo. Heck - I share the same insecurities!  Head on over to this blog post where I bear my personal photography fears.

Text Image "I'm Not Photogenic"Can I let you in on a secret?  It's not that you aren't photogenic.  I swear!  You may not believe it, but I can make YOU look just as amazing as the folks in my portfolio!  I'm serious.  My portfolio pictures are of REAL PEOPLE.  They are not models, and many of them had the same worries you.  No - I don't practice magic, I won't perform photoshop plastic surgery and I promise not to put you on the cabbage soup diet before your session.  What I will do is photograph you in a way you've most likely never been photographed before.

Here’s how I do it...

I will LISTEN One of the many reasons I require consultations is to get to know you.  This includes finding out what your hesitations and insecurities are.   When I know up front what you are self-conscious of, I can make a point of diminishing that issue.  Hate your mid section?  I'll use people, props and objects to camouflage it.  Not crazy about your nose...I'll make sure to have you facing forward in many photos.  Self conscious of a double chin?  I have a few tricks up my sleeve that will make that disappear in photos without photoshop or surgery.  Confide in me and let me take the weight off your shoulders by doing what you hire me to do...create amazing imagery!!

We will PLAN I will help you with choosing location, wardrobe, hair and makeup.  I will give you my cell phone so you can send me photos from the store or your closet!  I will plan and customize the session WITH YOU and answer any questions and address your individual concerns.  From posing to props - everything will be strategically planned around your specific needs.

I will PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS Let me worry about where you should place your hands or the angle of the light hitting your face.  I will walk you through subtle posing techniques, show you how to hold your head and make sure your necklace is straight.  I coach you through the nerves and we'll have fun doing it!

I will use my KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE I have been perfecting my craft for quite some time now and all my years of knowledge and experience are at your disposal. I will use it all to create gorgeous portraits for YOU.  From lens choice to posing - you can trust that each and every choice I make will be done with purpose.

I can't tell you the number of times I have had clients in tears at their reveal simply because they actually liked the way they looked in the photographs!

But I don't want you to just believe me blindly.  I mean, I could be lying to you - after all, this is a blog post written by... um...ME!  I'd much rather you head over to Facebook or Google and read what my clients have to say.

Photo collage of Fotoplicity Clients

And you know what?  You don't have anything to lose.  Put your trust in me for ONE session.  I stand behind all of my work with a satisfaction guarantee.  If you come to your Reveal and don't love a single photo I will either offer a reshoot or refund your session fee.  Want to know another secret?  I've NEVER had anyone take advantage of that guarantee!!

So...what do you have to lose?  Schedule a consultation and let's talk!

 [button url="http://www.fotoplicity.com/contact/"]I AM Photogenic![/button]

This Couple Is Celebrating Their Two Year Anniversary by Jennifer Evans

This beautiful couple came to me to celebrate their anniversary.  One of the things I loved about these two from the start was their easy-going and fun personalities.  When we met up for our session it turned out to be one of the hottest days in June.  It was sticky hot, but you would never know it from these photos.  The love and connection between these two is palpable.  THIS is why I do what I do.  Capturing interactions and feelings and turning them into artwork, for me and for my clients!  THIS is so much more than snapping photos! Anniversary Session by FotoplicityCouple SessionAnniversary Session by FotoplicityAnniversary Couple

Anniversary Session by Fotoplicity

It's A Cake Smash with a bonus!!! by Jennifer Evans

Who doesn't love a cake smash?

The Cake Smash Session has been popular for quite some time and many folks don't know if I offer them.  But I'll let you in on a little secret...even though I don't really advertise them, I do do them, and I absolutely love them!  There is one caveat though - I only do them outdoors.  Why?  well - for one, they can be very messy.  Having them outside makes cleanup a lot easier on everyone involved.  The second reason is that outdoor photos are just SOOOOOO much nicer (in my opinion anyway).  There is really nothing better than using nature as a back up.  And finally, as long as it's warmer, my favorite part is the wash up.  I provide a pretty bucket - we fill it with warm bath water and baby not only gets clean but the photos are adorable!  Turning ONE

Getting Ready Cake SmashFirst Birthday Cake SmashBathTimeSplashbubbles

2017 Senior Mini Sessions by Jennifer Evans

Introducing Fotoplicity Senior Mini Session, 2017!Do you have a high school senior who is looking for a couple of amazing portraits to document this special time?  Maybe you just need one photo for that graduation announcement.

This year I am offering a simple 15-20 minute photo session for graduating seniors.  These sessions will be short and sweet and are only available on select weekday evenings through May 15th.  

SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR BOOKINGSenior Mini Sessions

 

EACH SESSION INCLUDES

Your choice of ONE Highland Park location (Donaldson Park, Raritan Ave Mural or Wooded Trail) ONE outfit (I will also take a cap & gown photo if you bring it) SIX of the best images edited & displayed in an online proofing gallery

Option One | $225

All SIX Digital Images with Print Release 9 x 9 Heirloom Portrait Presentation Folio w/ TWO 5x7 Matted Prints Phone App with ALL gallery images (a perfect digital keepsake)

Portrait FolioWMSenior Foliio

Option Two | $125

8x10 Mounted Print with it's High Resolution Digital Negative Phone App with ALL gallery images (a perfect digital keepsake)

Additional Prints & Products Add-ons such as gift prints, wallet prints and portrait folios will be available for purchase through the proofing gallery.  The perfect option for those who would love to have lovely professional prints to display in your home or include in their grad announcements and thank you notes.

Looking for a fully customized session with more options and flexibility? CONTACT ME

Use the form below to request a Session Date/Time.  Contract & Payment are required to confirm the session.

A Beautiful Maternity Session, East Brunswick New Jersey by Jennifer Evans

This beautiful couple came to me looking to capture this special time in their lives....Maternity Photos by Fotoplicity, NJ While we were planning this maternity session the weather was churning out 40-60 degree days - February was proving to be quite a warm month.  Of course the day of our session Mother Nature decided to throw in typical February weather. I think it was around thirty degrees and even colder by the water where the wind was whipping.  But we were granted a gorgeous setting sun so we pushed through.  In between each of these shots Mom was wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket and Dad must have taken his jacket off and on 15 times!

Maternity Photos by Fotoplicity, NJ Despite the cold, I really couldn't have asked for a more perfect session.  In the end you would never know that it was freezing out.  Their love for each other and their baby couldn't be more apparent.

These two reminded me how much I absolutely love photographing expecting parents.  There really is no other time quite like this.  The love, wonder and hope that an unborn child provides is simply amazing and beautiful!

Maternity Photos by Fotoplicity, NJ Maternity Photos by Fotoplicity, NJ Maternity Session by Fotoplicity, NJ Maternity Session by Fotoplicity, NJ Maternity Photos by Fotoplicity, NJ

I'm getting real and 90% of women will relate....read on. by Jennifer Evans

I'm going to be honest here - this may be one of the most difficult blog posts I've ever written.  Why?  Because I'm going to share that insecure side of me that I keep deeply hidden.  The only comfort I have is knowing that every other woman in the world shares many of the same insecurities and hides them as deep as I do.  So today, right now, I'm going to do the heavy lifting for all of us. Social Media....

I think most of you will agree that it is both a blessing and a curse.  How great is it that we get to communicate with family, friends and acquaintances near and far on a daily basis?  We get glimpses into their lives that we would not get if social media did not exist.  On the down side, this atmosphere of voyeurism has created a fake perception of reality.

From Instagram to Facebook we are constantly bombarded with everyone's seemingly perfect lives.  Jane just got married to the most amazing guy, Sarah's children are gorgeous and never misbehave, Tara lives a life of luxury traveling the world for her dream job and Christy just lost 25 pounds doing Crossfit and looks ridiculously fantastic.  What we don't see are all the life clips which have been selectively edited out.  Jane went on hundreds of horrific dates for YEARS before finding "the one", Sarah's children whine, cry and throw temper tantrums just like everyone else's, Tara spends 1/2 her life at airports and hotels and is extremely lonely most of the time and Christy has had more downs then ups on her very long health journey.  We don't see this because most folks curate their lives on social media and portray only the news-worthy good.

I GET why people do this - heck, I do it too.  Who wants to know that my morning was shit, I screamed at my kids, had a fight with my husband and am wearing two different colored socks today?

But here is the problem with our social utopia.  When we see these perfect lives day in and day out we start thinking that something is wrong with us and our imperfect lives.  This is especially true when it comes to our self esteem.  Let's be honest - how many selfies do you need to take before you find that perfect one?  The one where you look 10 pounds thinner and your expression is perfect?

Social media may be more of a detriment to us women than fashion magazines ever were. At least with the fashion magazines we could just blame the editors for using only use size 0 models.  We can't do that with social media.  Social media shows us REAL people - one's we know personally!  This increases our need to measure up more so than ever before.

I see it every single day.  Women everywhere are beating themselves up about their physical appearance and non-perfect life.  We are in an ever lasting quest to find the perfect makeup, hairstyle, diet or exercise program to improve our exterior (and therefore our interior) and we are HARD on ourselves.  Really hard.  Unrealistically hard.  Damaging hard.

Here's Where I Get Real....

I am guilty.  I turned 45 this year.  FORTY-FIVE!!!!  I'm at the top of the hill, getting ready for the decent.  Crap.  This year I spent a small fortune on expensive makeup, wrinkle creams and other magical treatments that promise to reverse (or at least hide) the signs of my aging skin and body.  Over the past few years I have successfully gained about 20 extra pounds.  Between the age and weight, I struggle with mirrors every damn day of my life.

Last week I started advertising for a Mother's Day Makeover Session.  In my post I say how as Moms, we need to take time and embrace ourselves.  As a photographer I am constantly boosting women's self esteem by capturing beautiful images of them - images they didn't think were possible....but you rarely catch me on the other side of the lens. Ok, I'll admit - I'm a hypocrite.  As a matter of fact, I typically HIDE from cameras.  Show me a picture of myself and I spiral down the "I'm fat, old & ugly" hole.  It took EVERYTHING I had to suck it up and get the PhotoPass when we went to Disney because I knew that meant I would be in every picture.  EVERY PICTURE!  Ugh.  Ugh.  Ugh.  (In the end I did it, but not for me, for my kids - because that's what Mom's do, suck it up and do it for the kids, right?)HW STUDIO

The truth is, aside from Disney, my family hasn't had formal pictures taken in years.  Want to hear my excuses....  (they may sound familiar)

"I'll take family pictures when I lose the weight." "I don't look good in photos." "I hate seeing how old I look." "I'm afraid I'm going to hate myself more than I already do." "I don't want to see that double chin."

Terrible right?  If I'm not willing to even take family photos, how can I ask women to invest in pictures of just THEM?  Yup, I'm a hypocrite.

Let's play psychologist and analyze this.  I KNOW that I am my own worst enemy.  Sure, I need to lose some weight, but I've always been on the heavier side and that never stopped me before - there has to be something else.  You know what the problem is?  Like so many other Moms I put myself LAST.  Before I had kids I spent more time on myself.  I took the time to blow dry and style my hair every single day.  I took time to apply my makeup nicely.  I spent money on a nice wardrobe and I wore heels. HEELS!  Ha!  I took time to enjoy a paint class, go out with my friends for a drink, had date night with my husband.... And you know what?  I was CONFIDENT.  And that confidence is EVERYTHING.  Nowadays I rarely style my hair, my makeup application is a joke and my everyday wardrobe consists of sneakers, yoga pants, a few pairs of jeans and a handful of comfy shirts and sweatshirts.  The worst thing...I hadn't had a haircut in almost a YEAR!  That's just ridiculous, isn't it?  Last week, after months of procrastinating I finally splurged and got a haircut.  And you know what?  I walked out of that salon feeling like a million bucks.  I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window and actually stopped to take a second look.  I haven't felt that good in a LONG time.  And that was JUST a haircut!

The A-Ha Moment....

The bottom line is that we can feel good about ourselves TODAY.  NOW, if we let ourselves.  We need to stop comparing ourselves and our lives to our friends and family on Social Media.  We need to dedicate that time and energy into ourselves and our own families.  Focus on what makes us happy and not care about what others think or do.  When we do that something magical can happen...

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for my work day and blow drying my newly cut hair, I decided to go full out and take the time of doing some detailed makeup. I swear adding a touch of mascara can be face altering!  The hair and makeup inspired me to pull out a pair of my favorite jeans and instead of going for my comfort shirt I put on a camisole and a fitted jacket.  I finished the look with a pair of heels.  I can't remember the last time I wore HEELS.  (By the way, when I say heels, I mean 2" heels - that's my limit).  I grabbed my coffee and walked out the door feeling better than I have in forever.  I had a lighter step and a smile on my face.  I felt CONFIDENT and ready to conquer the day.   And when I got to work, do you know what I did?  I took advantage of my studio set up and faced my fear of the camera and had myself a little Glam Mom Photo shoot.  I mean how can I ask other Moms to dive in if I'm not willing to do it myself, right?

I'll admit, doing a self -photoshoot is not an easy task.  Trying to nail posing on a timer, without seeing yourself is more of a challenge than you would think, but I managed it.  And here are the results.

 

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Taking these pictures of myself in this more positive state of mind allowed me to focus on appreciating the things that I DO LIKE about myself instead of focusing on all the things I DON'T LIKE.   I love my hair - I'm 45 and that is my natural color.  My eyes are a pretty cool mix of green and brown and change with what I'm wearing.  Yeah, I need to lose weight, but I don't look half as bad as I beat myself up over.  Most importantly - I realized that if I put a little more energy into myself my whole attitude is better which directly and positively affects my family.  When I'm happy my family is happy.  When I'm confident I'm teaching my kids to be confident.  When I'm happy and confident my husband gets to enjoy the woman he married!  And once I start feeling better about myself I am encouraged to make more positive changes in my life.

The Walk Away

I encourage you to look within yourself and find that self-confidence that has been buried.  Grab it and bring it out.  Forget what Jane, Christy, Tara and everyone else is doing or what they look like and celebrate YOU, as you are, right now.  Take a little time each day to do something for YOU that will make YOU feel good.  Stop all the negative self-talk and appreciate the positives instead.  And if you're like me, STOP fearing the camera.  Grab your kids and your significant other and strike a pose!

You are worth it.

WARNING: This article may offend your LinkedIn or Website Profile Image... by Jennifer Evans

WARNING:  This article may offend your LinkedIn or Website profile image!

I know, I know...you've all heard me preach about the importance of a good headshot.  I promise, I'm not going to talk about that in this post (although it's true!).  Instead, I'm going to dive into what actually makes a headshot a good one.   After all, if you don't know that, how can you determine if yours needs updating or not?  Believe it or not, just because it was taken by a photographer doesn't mean it's good.

I'm going to admit something somewhat embarrassing.  Sometimes, when I have some time to kill, I go on LinkedIn and browse profiles.  Why?  Because as a photographer I am in constant search of improving my craft and one of the best ways to do that is to look at the work of others and learn from it.  For me, that means learning what to do and learning what not to do.  When it comes to headshots, LinkedIn is chock full of learning opportunities!

Unfortunately, LinkedIn is full of lots and lots of very bad headshots.  Now, when I say BAD, I don't necessarily mean bad portraits.  Actually, I see some very nice professional PORTRAITS of people but just because it's a nice portrait doesn't mean it's a good headshot.  YES, there is a difference - and it's a big one.  Oh, and for the purposes of this article I am not going to cover the use of selfies or random cropped event photographs that people use - those go without saying... those are not headshots and shouldn't be used as such. Period.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD HEADSHOT

  • Good, professional lighting
  • Sharp and in-focus
  • Technically sound photograph
  • Focus on the head (no body)
  • Confident & friendly expression
  • Accurate portrayal of the person & their personality
  • Complimentary posing of the body
  • An image that makes a statement
  • Attention to detail (hair fly aways, straight collars, appropriate clothing choice, skin tones, etc.)

THE DIFFERENCE

Since I don't want to use random LinkedIn images, I'm going to use some of my own work to demonstrate.  Let's look at these two images.  ArtisticWM

HeadshotCrewFeb2

Both of these images are great portraits.  The lighting is good, they are technically sound, images are sharp and they are both shot from the shoulders up.  Both images show a very friendly and happy woman.  But one is a portrait, the other is a HEADSHOT.  So this one is probably obvious....the top one, while a beautiful portrait, is a very BAD HEADSHOT.  Why?  She isn't looking at the camera.  We don't see her eyes.  And while she is obviously happy in the photo, by not looking at the camera we can't really "see" the person.  Eye contact is important for connection - even in a photograph and especially for a headshot.  Another problem with the top image is the editing.  The matte look and low lighting makes this a much more artistic photograph than a business oriented one.  Now let's compare that to the bottom image.  THIS is a good headshot.  Her smile is nice and friendly but the look she is giving exudes nothing but pure confidence.  Her hair is neat, and her makeup is clean.  You can't help but FEEL that this woman knows what she is doing.  This photograph makes a very strong statement and demands your attention.  THAT is EVERYTHING!

HEADSHOT OR PORTRAIT?

What do you think?

makeover-3

I love this photograph!  Technically it is on point.  But is it a good headshot?  No.  Not even close.  This is a glamour or contemporary portrait.   Yes, she looks Ahhhmazing.   She is smiling and she is confident as heck.  But this image should never be used as a professional business headshot.  Why?  Well, to be blunt - it's just a touch too sexy.  She has movement in her hair, the makeup is a touch too glam and the way her lips are poised make it "un-professional".  The confident look is a different kind of confidence than what we want in a headshot.  Although I will say that if this was a creative headshot (for an actress), this would be fine to add to her portfolio.  Acting headshots are very different than business/corporate headshots - but I will not go into that here.   When it comes to a business professional, this shot is not acceptable.

The Nitty Gritty

Ok, now let's get down to the nitty gritty details.  As with anything, it's the details that truly make a difference.  Take a look at the two images below.  There is no denying that both of these are strong headshots.  They portray one very confident professional.  Honestly, either of these would make for a fantastic LinkedIn profile picture, but which one is better and why?DoctorWM copy

Doctor Headshot

I suppose that is kind of a trick question, because without knowing this woman you can't really answer it.  Let me explain - the better image is the one on the bottom.  Why?  Simply because her hair is up.  Why does this matter?  Because when she is at work, she wears her hair up 100% of the time.  It is a true representation of her.  If you run into her on the job, you will see the woman in the bottom picture - not the one in the top picture.  But BOTH images are important for her to have because most professionals have a need to portray different versions of their "brand".   When we took these, I recommended the top image be used for any sort of formal self-promotion she may need (if she needed it for a brochure or such), but the bottom image was the one we both preferred for her online presence.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There is a lot more to a good headshot than you think.  If you are serious about your personal brand it is extremely important that you find a photographer who understands the difference between a portrait and a headshot and can coach you into achieving the strong, friendly and confident look you need to stand out from the rest.  Serious headshot sessions take time and experience.  Remember, just because a photographer takes a nice portrait doesn't mean they can take a effective headshot.  When in the market for a headshot photographer please do your homework.

Here are few tips that should help you:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHER

  • Quality Photographs: Lighting, sharpness, accurate skin tones are extremely important.
  • Consistency: Look at their portfolio.  You want to find someone who can produce the same results time and time again.
  • Professional lighting equipment: Find someone with a professional studio set up.  They need professional lights and understand how to use them to produce excellent results.  One of the biggest "mistakes" I see is a nasty glare in glasses.  This can be avoided if the photographer knows how to work with their lights!
  • Realistic Retouching:  Sure, we all want to look like super models, but a headshot needs to be REAL.  Headshots should NOT look "photoshopped".  It's one thing to remove a blemish and a few undereye circles, another to make someone's skin look like a newborn baby's bottom.  There is no place for that in a good headshot!
  • Accurate Representation:  People should look like themselves!  Expressions should be genuine, not "posed".  It takes a good photographer to eliminate the natural anxiety that most of us feel in front of the camera and instead exude GENUINE confidence and friendliness!
  • Posing: Even though headshots are typically shot from the shoulders up, posing is still important.  You can spot a slump a million miles away.  Stance can affect expression.  A good headshot photographer will work with you to find the right pose that highlights your best features.
  • Creative Headshots vs. Corporate Headshots:  An experienced headshot photographer understands that there is a different headshot need between these two professionals.  Acting headshots require a lot more looks and a large variance of expressions compared to the businessman/woman.
  • Price:  Good headshot photographers aren't charging $50 or less.  It takes a lot of hard work and training to be able to produce consistent, excellent headshots and good photographers charge accordingly.  A reputable headshot photographer typically charges between $150-$300 for an in-depth session with a handful of images including business licensing.  Don't be fooled by the Target $19.99 headshot specials that have you in and out in 10 minutes.  Remember - you get what you pay for.  When it comes to your career, the investment may very well be worth it!

Now that you know what makes a good headshot, why not go and evaluate yours.

I'm not going to apologize if I offended your headshot image because if I did, I know that I did my job and provided you with the information you need to make it better!!

If you are in Central New Jersey and wish to learn about Fotoplicity Headshot Sessions you can contact me HERE.

Mother's Day Makeover - 2017 by Jennifer Evans

Motherhood is beautiful. To your children and your husband, the love, care and courage that it takes to be a mother are treasured and appreciated. However, the reality of a busy life means that us Moms don't often FEEL beautiful.  Let's face it - after cleaning up messes all day long, doing several loads of laundry, preparing and cooking meals and working, most women don't feel they are "glowing".  Instead they just feel exhausted and, well....a mess. This Mother's Day, why not indulge in a fun makeover and photo shoot?

Glam Mom

Only $300!

Includes Hair, Makeup, Photo Shoot & $50 Print Credit!

APRIL 30th & MAY 7th

THE MAKEOVER

We'll start off with a full hair and makeup makeover by Rachel from Rocky's Hair & Makeup.  She'll spend some time not only making you feel amazing, but providing some simple skin care and makeup tips along the way.  When your makeover is finished, Rachel will provide you with a sample product for you to take home with you!

THE PHOTO SHOOT

Once Rachel finishes up, Jennifer from Fotoplicity will get your confidence soaring by taking photos of you that are worthy of a magazine cover.  You'll receive wardrobe suggestions BEFORE the session and during the session she'll spend time coaching you through stances and expressions and offer you posing techniques that you can use whenever a camera is present.  Most images will be taken from the waist up, however there may be a few 3/4 or full body.  If you booked back to back sessions with a friend or family member we'll be sure to get a few photographs of the two of you together.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

Hairstyling, makeup & a 20-30 minute model photo shoot.  Hair & makeup tips from Rachel along with a product sample and posing techniques from Jennifer.  Once the session is over, Jennifer will choose the best 5-8 images from your session, expertly retouch them and place them into an online proofing gallery for you to view.  You will be given a $50.00 print credit and a complimentary web-resolution magazine cover (shown above) for social media sharing. You will be able to purchase digitals, prints and products directly from the online gallery.

Sessions are $300 per person.  Sessions are restricted to clients 16 years of age and older.  

JUST DON'T

Before you even start, I'm going to stop you.  DO NOT talk yourself out of this.  So what if you have 10-30 pounds to lose - so what if you just had a baby - and don't even convince yourself that you are not photogenic.  Let me tell you something - with the right makeup, hair and photographer we will melt your insecurities away!

Sample Makeover This Mom just had a baby 8 weeks prior when she came in for her makeover.....who would've known?

Book With A Friend, Sister or Mom! If you book with friend, sister or Mom we will take some photos of you together!

BOOK NOW!

Choose the date and time you want.  

NOTE:  There are two spots for each time to accommodate those who are booking with a friend or family member.  The actual makeovers will happen consecutively but we do invite you to enjoy each other's company while waiting.  You will have an opportunity to take photographs together.

Welcoming in the New Year with Family Photos by Jennifer Evans

How beautiful is this family?  Let me share the story behind these images.  Right around Christmas Tania contacted me about doing a family session which included her, her husband, her child and her husband's brother and sister.  The reason?  They wanted to surprise her Father-In-Law with updated family portraits which they haven't had done in YEARS.Family One of the first things I did was to take an individual photograph of each of the siblings.  Sometimes people are a bit hesitant to have individual portraits taken...it makes most folks uncomfortable to be the center of attention, especially in front of a lens.  But here's the thing...most folks end up LOVING these photos.  Why?  Because having a professional portrait done is WAY different than having a friend take your photo and it's also different than having your school portrait done.  I take time to explain how to stand, work through facial expressions and take advantage of the light. It doesn't take long, but it does take experience.  The two siblings on the left are still in high school. Both told me that they HATED their school photos so I set out to snag a perfect portrait for each.  Needless to say they were THRILLED with the outcome.2017-01-29_Family03 Tania had run into me several years back at one of the Street Fairs in Highland Park.  She had signed up to be on my mailing list and had kept me in mind for future.  She contacted me a few weeks before her Father-In-Law's party and we set this session up for New Year's Day.

It was a bit chilly but they all handled it well...even the baby! 2017-01-29_baby

Tania's brother-in-law even braved "the wall".  This is one of my favorite photos...you see, it can be a bit scary getting out on this ledge.  There is water on both sides and it is only about 3 ft. wide - less in some parts.  Add to that the wind and cold - well - you get the idea!  But now he has a great story and an image to go along with it!  2017-01-29_ledge The main goal of the session was to get photographs of the three siblings and all variations of them.  It's really helpful for me to know the WHY behind any session BEFORE we start.  Since I knew going in that these photos would most likely be hung on a wall in some sort of collage on Dad's wall, I made a point of getting photographs that tell a story and that work well together. 2017-01-29_siblings Just as we were finishing up I convinced Tania, who had her first child only 6 months prior, to get some photos of just her.  You've heard me say this before - I think it is SO IMPORTANT for women, especially MOMs to EMBRACE themselves.  We so often get lost in our children and day to day lives that we can easily forget who we are and what we are about.  Taking photo solo not only provide a little reminder that we are strong, confident and beautiful, but allow for a little self-indulgence which is important to do from time to time.  Now Tania has these beautiful photos of herself that she can share with her daughter.Embrace Session So there you have it.  What a great way to bring in the new year!!!  Happy 2017!Family

Kicking Off Fall Photo Season with an Amazing Family Session by Jennifer Evans

The time is finally here!  The leaves have started changing color and I have begun my busy family portrait season.  Every October my calendar fills up with tons of family and child sessions.  Why?  Two reasons - the warm red, yellow and orange colors of outdoor fall portraits is pretty much unattainable any other time of the year AND everyone wants beautiful pictures for their holiday cards! This year I kicked off the season with a beautiful family of five.  Two adults, two boys and one adult size pup...well, I suppose most wouldn't consider a 100+ pound bull mastiff a pup, but to me all dogs are "pups".

Fall Family Session with dog

This year I ran several Fall Session Promos.  This was a 1/2 session which allowed for time and location flexibility.  This session was done in East Brunswick at 4pm to take advantage of the evening lighting.

Boys and dog

Evening sun, during the Autumn months, are among every photographer's favorite.  The golden warmth is like no other time of the year and the changing leaves offer pops of color that just bring a portrait to another level.

family portrait by fotoplicity

When shooting family sessions I have several goals.  One, to get at least one nicely posed family picture for the wall.

Two, to snag individual portraits of the children.

boy portrait boy portrait

And three to get at least one photo of Mom & Dad together without the kids.  After years of taking family portraits I quickly realized that most parents haven't had a professional picture taken of themselves since their wedding and that just isn't right!

couple portrait

For families with older children I sometimes love to grab an image that captures a little attitude because, let's face it, this is the side of any pre-teen or teenage child that a parent sees a lot of, and photographs are all about solidifying memories.  While we may not like the attitude as it happens, twenty years from now it will be something to laugh about.gorman-web-12

And finally, if time permits I make a point to have some fun with the kids because I believe that photo sessions should be enjoyable.  Posing can get a little boring, especially for the children, so after we get what we need I just let the kids be kids.  And here's a little secret...this is typically when I get some of the most fun pictures.  You know, the ones that really let personality shine!  fun child portraitfun child portraitThe above pictures were 100% the idea/request of these boys and I absolutely LOVE them.  By doing this I also build a nice rapport with my young clients which makes any future sessions more relaxed for both the kids and the parents!

autumn family portrait

So, that about sums up this Fall Session.  I am really looking forward to seeing all of my return clients and meeting my new ones in the upcoming weeks.

Oh, and if you haven't booked and still want to I have a few weekday evening spots still available.  Just contact me and we'll get the ball rolling.

Bull Mastiff Portrait

 

A Mom & Daughter Session and The Importance of Trust by Jennifer Evans

There is nothing I love more than to get a Mom and her children in front of my lens.  Let me tell you a little story about this particular family....SistersMom & DaughtersI met them two years ago when when I had offered some Mini Sessions. F, the eldest daughter was quite weary of me and my camera while I, the little one, was doing her best being a toddler and running around exploring everything! Now, let me tell you that mini sessions can be quite challenging simply because there is very little time to relationship-build with children.  Think about it, a stranger is pretty much sticking a big camera in their face asking them to "smile" and act natural.   It took almost the whole session, but we manage to get some cute photos of the girls. A year later the whole family came back and we spent a bit more time together.  I'm not sure if the girls remembered me from the prior year but by the end of the session I had built enough of a rapport with them that they felt quite comfortable with me and let their personalities show through.children portraits by fotoplicity

Villanova-900-15 Villanova-900-16 Villanova-900-17THIS year was the year that I enjoyed the biggest reward any child photographer can receive....As soon as these girls saw me I was immediately greeted with warm smiles and a huge hug from I!!  F quickly started up a conversation and our time together was extremely relaxed, comfortable and fun which resulted in amazing photographs!

Looking back on this family's photographs over the past three years you can see how the building of trust and familiarity can significantly impact a photo session, especially with children.  Not to mention you can also see how dramatically my style and skill has changed/improved over the years!  Fiona through years Isla through yearsOne of the most wonderful things about my job is building such nice relationships with my clients.  I'm looking forward to 2017!!! mom and daughter session

 

5 Tips - How To Photograph Your Tween / Teen by Jennifer Evans

As the Mom of a Tween AND a photographer, this is a topic that I can speak to through experience.  Once your child gets into double digits you've moved through most of those typical photo-worthy milestones (first smile, first steps, first tooth, etc.)   At ten, our "babies" start their journey into adulthood.  You know the stage....the one where they start testing boundaries, develop strong opinions and explore all pieces of their identity.  They also go through some significant physical changes. All of these changes are significant and as parents, wouldn't it be nice to be able to look back at this time 10+ years from now and remember when she was first old enough to sit next to you in the front seat of the car?  Or remember when he surpassed you height wise?  These often overlooked moments are just as important and monumental as those baby milestones.  These are memories that aren't captured in the annual school photos.

So get your camera out and start documenting your tween/teen's life.  Capture important moments and be as enthusiastic as you were when they were little.  I guarantee you will be glad you did years down the road.  Of course getting those pictures may not be as easy as it used to be.  Five Tips for photographing your tween, teen

Here are five tips on photographing your tween or teen.

Tip 1 - Photographing Teens / Tweens

Take photos of them doing what they love. Whether its dancing, gymnastics, playing football or soccer - when they’re enjoying themselves they will be more inclined to go along with your request getting some pictures OR, they'll be too busy to notice you with your camera.

Tip 3 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis goes along with the first tip.  Instead of just standing on the sidelines, engage and interact with your child.  Show an interest in their hobbies and passions.  Don't make getting a photograph your only goal - take the time to connect with your child and take those photos only when the opportunity presents itself.  If you are actively engaged with your child they will be much more open to letting you get a genuine photo of them.  Even better - get IN the photo with your child!

Tip 2 - Photographing Teens / TweensAs children get older, they develop their own sense of style.  Instead of giving them grief about it, embrace it.  This is who your child is, it's how they are known by their friends...why change that just for a photograph?  The idea is to capture your kid as they are - not some made-up, fairy tale version of them! Besides, I can pretty much guarantee they'll be more comfortable and willing to pose for a picture while wearing their favorite clothes.

And if you really want those fairy tale pictures, consider a Fotoplicity Enchanted Session and let me create an entire experience that will get them excited about having their photo taken!

Tip 4 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis is where most parents fail...it is so important to treat your tween/teen like an adult. When you respect them they will be much more likely and willing to participate and smile for you. If you make them feel like the adults they're becoming it will go a long way.

Tip 5 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis goes hand in hand with the last tip.  In today's world of social media most don't think twice about posting pictures for the world to see.  Sharing cute and silly pictures didn't matter to to them when they were toddlers, but now they are self-aware and conscious of how they look.  If they have their own online presence, they will want to control the photos that are shared.  If they know that they have the ability to veto the photos that get shared publicly they will be more likely to participate in your photo shoots!Tween Portrait by Fotoplicity, NJ

Are you interested in getting professional pictures of your tween or teen?

TWEEN/TEEN WEEK - July 18-23, 2016

Session Fee:  $35 (plus tax) Includes:  Consultation, 20 Minute LOCAL Outdoor Session, Reveal Appointment Restrictions:  One child per session, session fee & signed contract due in full at time of booking, children ages 10-17 only, limited availability - only a handful of early morning and evening sessions are available.  If you book back to back sessions for siblings I will take images of them together.

Interested in booking?  Please CONTACT ME.Teen Tween Week

 

A Pine Barrens Enchanted Maternity Photo Session by Jennifer Evans

Introducing Enchanted Maternity Photo Sessions!

If you follow me, you are probably familiar with my Enchanted Photo Sessions for children, but what you may not know is that I offer these magical photo sessions for Maternity Clients too!

This Enchanted Maternity Photo Session was done in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  Originally scheduled for 4pm, we had to move the session up because of a heavy thunderstorm that was in the forecast.  While noon-day photo sessions are not ideal, they are doable if the location and lighting is right. Thankfully, we lucked out with both!

For this specific session we shot in two different locations.  One with an empty road and beautiful lake and the other with a gorgeous stream.  Between the gorgeous locations, the beautiful family and the stunning dress I couldn't be happier with the final images.

Maternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey Family by the lake, portraits by FotoplicityMaternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey Maternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey Maternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey Maternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey Enchanted Maternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey Enchanted Maternity Photo Session by Fotoplicity in New Jersey

Are you interested in learning more about an Enchanted Maternity Session?  Please fill out my CONTACT FORM.

A Meaningful Senior Session, Highland Park NJ by Jennifer Evans

A Senior Session in Central New Jersey

Senior Portrait by Fotoplicity

What are your extracurricular activities? What is something you can't live without? What is your best feature? How would you describe your everyday style?

These are just a few of the questions I ask my Senior clients.  Why?  Because this is how I get to know them, find out who they are and what they are about.  It helps me plan a photo session that allows me to tell their story through photographs.

Interestingly enough, senior photography is not as popular here on the East Coast as it is in the South or Mid-West.  I'm not really sure why because every year I hear the same complaints from parents of graduating teens.  The photographs taken by {insert big box portrait company here} are not of good quality and their prices are extremely high for what they offer.  EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  But every year more and more parents shell out hundreds of dollars for sub-par, boring photos due to lack of options.  Well, I'm hoping to change that for this local area.

This beautiful teen's story was the same.  She had the typical portrait done by xxx.  While the photos were nice, the session was quick and "assembly line-ish".  Parents weren't allowed to be present - which is really strange since the parents are the ones paying!  The print packages started around $180.  The most "desired" package ran into the $600 range.  Now, don't get me wrong - I value photography and some of my portrait packages fall within this price range HOWEVER...the question is, what are you getting for your investment?  I can tell you for $600 my personal expectation would be a full service experience, custom photo session, a voice in where my portraits are going to be taken and some input into what I want out of the session.  I would never pay that for a "typical" school portrait session.

The huge difference is in the VALUE of what you get for your money.

I met with this Senior before her session.  I found out that she is a singer and actor, an avid softball player and absolutely LOVES her HIGH HEELS!heels

We talked about what she (and her parents) would like from the session. We discussed location and wardrobe.  We planned things out, scheduled the session and most importantly we had FUN!

The entire session took about 2 hours and took place in 3 different locations throughout Highland Park.  Here is her REVEAL SLIDESHOW.

THIS is what a Fotoplicity Senior Portrait Session is.

Needless to say, I think this pretty much blew {big box portrait studio} out of the water.

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Interested in learning more?

CLICK HERE to view session information.

CLICK HERE to inquire about a session!

Senior Sessions - Your Senior Year Through Meaningful Portraits by Jennifer Evans

Senior Portray by FotoplicitySenior Sessions

What is a Senior Session and more importantly what is it NOT?

I know you've seen them...you probably even have some....those typical, run-of-the-mill school photos that big-box companies take and sell to you every year of your public school life.  Hey, I'm not knocking them - I purchase them every single year for my daughters and I'm a PHOTOGRAPHER!  There is something about those school photos that is classic and they are an awesome way to document the growth of a child from year to year.

Lifetouch typical senior portrait

HOWEVER....let's not confuse those annual snapshots with a Senior Portrait Session done by a professional photographer. Senior Portrait by Fotoplicity, Central NJ photographerLet me ask you - what DO YOU WANT your senior portrait(s) to remind you of when you're old and gray?  I'm pretty sure you will remember that you graduated (at least I hope you do).  For me, personally, I would like those pictures to remind me of who I was and what I liked during that time of my life.  I want to remember my personality - especially the quirky, silly side of me.  I want to remember the sports I loved and the hobbies I enjoyed.  I want to remember what it was like to be a 17/18 year old with the world at my feet.  I want nostalgia.  I'm pretty sure that boring cap and gown headshot isn't going to provide me with that.

This is why Fotoplicity offers special portrait sessions designed specifically for Seniors.  Every senior session includes a pre-session consultation where we will discuss what YOU want out of your session.  We will talk about wardrobe, location, props, etc and I will find out who you are and what you are about.  I will make a point of getting to know you personally which will allow me to accurately tell YOUR story!Senior Photo Sessions in Central NJ

Session Packages

Fotoplicity offers four different senior session packages.  Each session includes a consultation, 60-90 minute session, and up to three wardrobe changes.

Contact for detailed pricing menu.

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A La Carte $150

Session Fee Only 1-2 Locations Prints, products & digitals are purchased separately

Payment due in full at time of booking.

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Basic

1 Location (6) Digital Images Printable up to 8x12 (1) 11x14 Mounted Print OR (2) 8x10s

Payment due in full at time of booking.

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Essential

1-2 Locations (12) Digital Images Printable up to 8x12 Print Credit Reveal Slideshow

Deposit due at time of booking.  Balance due 5 days prior to session date.

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Premium

2-3 Locations 10 x 8 Photo Album (20-30 images) All High Resolution Digitals Print Credit Reveal Slideshow

Deposit due at time of booking.  Balance due 5 days prior to session date.

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Would you prefer studio images and the security of not having to reschedule if it rains?  Add $95 to any package to secure an amazing, natural light studio space (located in Highland Park) for an hour! Prom Mini Sessions Magazine Style Pricing is subject to change, and does not include applicable sales tax. *Additional prints, products and digitals can be purchased separately.

49 Years & Counting! by Jennifer Evans

Married 49 yearsThe longly-weds know

That it isn't about the Golden Anniversary at all,

but about all the unremarkable years

that Hallmark doesn't even make a card for.

It's about the 2nd anniversary when they were surprised

to find they cared for each other more than last year.

And the 4th, when both kids had chickenpox

and she threw her shoe at him for no real reason.

And the 6th when he accidentally got drunk on the way

home from work because being a husband and a father

was so damned hard.

It's about the 11th, 12th and 13th years when

they discovered they could survive crisis.

And the 22nd anniversary when they looked

at each other across the empty nest, and found it good.

It's about the 37th year when she finally

decided she could never change him

And the 38th when he decided

a little change wasn't that bad.

It's about the 46th anniversary when they both

bought cards, and forgot to give them to each other.

But most of all it's about the end of the 49th year

when they discovered you don't have to be old

to have your 50th anniversary.

married 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJI have to tell you that this session was quite possibly the cutest couple session I've ever done.  These two classy folks met in Europe many years ago, fell in love and never looked back.  They are in their 49th year of marriage and this session was a gift from their daughter in celebration Dad's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday Geoffrey! married 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJ married 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJ married 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJmarried 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJ married 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJmarried 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJ married 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJmarried 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJmarried 49 years, photos by Fotoplicity, Central NJ

Sunbeams, Babies and Geese by Jennifer Evans

What is it about babies that just draw us in...we can't help but make silly faces and talk in high-pitched, soothing voices - yeah, don't tell me you don't!  It's no secret that I love taking photos of babies, especially the ones that aren't mobile yet.  If they haven't figured out how to crawl or walk they are open to being placed in baskets, on blankets and they let me have fun!  This four month old was so happy to cooperate for this session.  She let us dress her up and pose her however we liked and she smiled most of the time although she did have a moment at the end where she informed us that she was done, but I adore that picture too! When I get a cooperative, adorable baby who is willing to work with my props I'm a pretty happy photographer.  But even better, is when nature decides to play a role in the session also.  The sun added some beautiful light to our backdrop and a few geese couldn't help but get in the picture as well!

Baby's first year goes by so quickly, I am always thrilled to capture these fleeting moments for parents! BabyOWMVintage Baby by Fotoplicity Cohen-13_WEB Cohen-16_WEB Cohen-22_WEB